It’s hard to find a good instructional designer. Someone who can work alongside subject matter experts (and have credibility), make sense of tons of available resources, magically imagine and develop narrative and great workplace stories, come up with really smart activities, decide what resources would support these, re-work/re-write available supporting resources so they really fit, and so on.
It seems the best instructional designers have reached their mid-career and have had (an)other career(s) before becoming an instructional designer. No wonder.
Now tell me, why would these excellent instructional designers also need all the technical and artistic skills listed in so many ID job adverts? Where would you even find these people who do all of the above (well) and also have Articulate (or similar software) skills, graphic design skills, coding skills (when the software needs a tweak), and so much more? It’s difficult enough to be good at any one of these skills.
The all-in-one might work for simple courses on delegation, CPR, health and safety, or anything along these lines. Everyone ‘gets’ this stuff.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Once the topics get tough you need high calibre instructional designers who focus on design only and are good at it. Don’t disregard them when they don’t know how to do the technical, development and/or artistic tasks. What’s important is how they are able to have difficult conversations with subject-matter experts, make sense of really complicated topics and turn intricate materials into smart and interesting courses.
There are so many subjects out there that are not for the faint hearted. DynaMind eLearning has developed e-learning courses on aid effectiveness, gender budgeting, international procurement, laboratory surveillance, just to name a few. It would have been impossible to find a person who can design learning at that level and have all the other skills listed in typical instructional design job adverts as well. There is no need to – that’s what multi-disciplinary teams are for.